After waking up quite early in a Tokyo , I decided to head to the famous Blue Bottle roastery near the Kiyosumishirikawa station.
I arrived a few minutes before 8 AM.
Blue Bottle has been in the news here in Japan since they opened and I guess I had to see the phenomena with my own eyes.
James Freeman picked an odd residential neighborhood for his roastery. The streets were full of children walking to school at this early hour.
The shop occupies a sizeable industrial looking space with the roastery in the back and the café in the front.
An English menu was dug up and I ordered a Kenya Kiambu Thithi single origin drip coffee and a piece of lemon cake.
The preparation area is minimalist and beautiful if you are a sucker for industrial chic. The coffee was expertly hand dripped over a scale.
A few minutes after I arrived, the café was already busy. The space is a pleasure for the eye.
The coffee was served in a glass cup which let me admire the color of the brew.
The coffee was a bit of a let down, too lightly roasted for my taste. It taste good, but I won’t lie, I expected this from Blue Bottle. The slight acidity if most definitely not a note that I like in a cup of coffee.
The gorgeous espresso machine.
This third wave lighter roasting if just killing me. All the local Okayama roasters I know are well aware of this trend, they tried different roasting profiles, yet they always go back to a slightly darker roast. I even sat down with one of them once to taste a coffee from Stumptown and we had a difficult time with the acidity.
While the shop looks like a dream, I was left longing for a more traditional Japanese roast. I remain a fan of the hard taste. Many of my Japanese friends are also not big fan of this kind of taste. Dear James Freeman, I have no doubt that you have exquisite taste when it comes to designing a coffee shop or sourcing beans, are you planning to experiment with a different roasting profiles in the future?
If you fancy this new kind of coffee, run to Blue Bottle. I read James Freeman’s book a while ago and wish I could enjoy his coffee as much as I enjoyed his book.
Blue Bottle Coffee Tokyo Kiyosumi
1-4-8, Hirano, Koto-ku
Everyday 8 AM-7PM